For six days, the Robinson family's ship is pounded by a wild storm that rages on and on until the sailors are exhausted. The ship is completely off course, nobody knows where they are, the masts are broken, and the vessel is filling with water.
The Robinsons pray, along with the sailors. Someone spots land, then the ship hits a rock and begins to break up. The Robinsons are left behind as the sailors make off in all the life boats.
However, providence is on the family's side, for their cabin is in a part of the ship that is wedged high between two large rocks. Mr. Robinson realizes that they will be safe there until morning, when they may be able to head out for the land that they can see in the distance.
In the morning, they find blue skies. They fear all the sailors in the life boats have drowned. The family then puts together "empty flasks and tin canisters" to make floats, which then carry them to the shore of the island.